We have a new discovery within Trench 3; an alignment of large roughly squared stone slabs, extending from one of the latrine pits (dug during WWI and used by us as test pits to identify deeper deposits). The edge of one of the slabs has been visible in the latrine pit section for some time, but now we are at a level where it could be further exposed. This has revealed that it was one of at least three slabs (there may be more past our running section) that lie in a line on a broadly east to west alignment. They have the look of capping stones for a stone lined drain, but this seems an unlikely explanation, as the section of the latrine pit does not reveal vertical or base slabs beneath them. Our best guess at the moment is that this is a structural foundation and originally carried a timber building. It should be noted though, that this is a tentative interpretation at the moment.
Our new discovery lies just to the north of the stone threshold that we have associated with an overlying large timber hall, of probable late Anglo-Saxon date. Our new discovery clearly pre-dates this building, but its relationship (whether it is earlier or later) with the the construction slots for the ground-fast timber building, blogged about on the 17th June, is not so certain. That building lies to the south of the threshold-hall, but if we are correct, that this is the southern side, then it must occupy a similar area of ground as the structure associated with our new stone alignment. The implication being that the two should not be contemporary and we have a new puzzle to solve. Which came first? Watch this space for developments.